SMC: What is the key to staying successful in this industry?
MM: There are multiple ways to succeed in this industry which, of course, can be applied to any business. We firmly believe quality, consistency, and communication are key to achieving progress.
A lot can go awry during the decoration process. Therefore, quality control is critical to ensure the customer is proud to flaunt their branded products. Ultimately, a company’s clients become its walking portfolio, and word of mouth is of paramount importance to establish one’s reputation in this industry.
Next, maintaining clear, ongoing channels of communication with customers and staff is vital to the success of any project.
We also rely on new suppliers to be experts in the latest products and decoration methods and continuously learn from them.
Further, attending trade shows and online seminars is an educational way to stay ahead of the game and also provides businesses new, unique ideas to market their brand.
SMC: What are the future plans for your business?
MM: In the next two years, we will focus on building our franchise by adding more sales representatives, enhancing our online presence, and launching our new e-commerce website. We want to be able to compete with the ever-increasing pool of online-based competitors, and build our brand to be the trusted marketing partner for businesses.
SMC: How has COVID-19 affected your business? Are there any tips/best practices you can share to help industry professionals get through these difficult times?
MM: We have been extremely fortunate as we were able to pivot to PPE rather quickly. Our customers had a sudden void, and we took the fight-or-flight response to fulfil that need. We were able to source fair-priced products and offer COVID-19 kits, which included directional vinyl stickers, clear acrylic barriers, and face shields produced in-house with our Signarama equipment.
That said, we have continued to provide branded apparel for clients; however, a significant portion of our business has involved helping companies become COVID-19 compliant during these uncertain times.
SMC: Has your shop produced any COVID-19-related signage?
MM: We have produced several COVID-19-related signs, apparel, and even a bus wrap. We also came up with the ‘Support Signs and Apparel’ initiative to bring a little joy to the community and thank frontline workers. The signs expressed gratitude to essential workers, and the T-shirts had funny sayings encouraging people to stay home and stay safe. Five dollars from each sale of our support items were donated to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) COVID-19 Response. We were able to donate more than $2000 to our local hospital.